self love is relational love

Relationships are complicated. Sometimes they’re easy and sometimes they are not so easy. There’s all different types of relationships: acquaintances, colleagues, friends, partners, lovers, siblings, parents, connected, disconnected, mutually respectful disrespectful….the list goes on and on and for every type of desirable relationship there’s a not so desirable opposite.

My favorite type of relationship to navigate through is the one that I have to obsessively think about in order to make sense of. Sarcasm, you hear it right?

How do we love people fully who keep us at a distance?

Distance seems like a safe place to be but it also keeps us from love. It’s healthy to use boundaries in relationships and boundaries are meant not to keep people out but to keep yourself safe. But what happens when those boundaries aren’t doing what you intend for them to do?

I read in a Facebook group recently, a post that went something like this “while we may feel threatened, the truth is that we may not actually be being threatened”. That quote really stuck out to me because so often we find offense in what another person says or does and sometimes it has to do with us and sometimes it does not. But my point being that more often than not we forget to review if the intent was offense. Sometimes people really want to love each other and they’re not sure how to do it. People love through guessing and through trial and error. People love the way they’d like to receive love and that’s sometimes not received so well.

I try to help people to learn how to care for themselves well and to do that so well that the relationships in their life must improve or at least should…maybe not must. Receptivity is required on both ends. Self love has a ripple effect and the absence of self-love does as well. When we care for ourselves we also in turn care for others, better. And the opposite is true again- when we are not in the habit of caring for ourselves well then we are less likely to be able to meet the needs of others.

So you might be thinking something about selfless love and yes that’s a real thing- loving yourself so selflessly that you bring improvement to the relationships in your life and that those who come in contact with you leave even a smidge better. Selfless love wants nothing and that’s the point here isn’t it? To love yourself well is to want to love others just as well. Again, Receptivity is required on both ends.

Think about what feels good and what does not within your life….almost everything can be connected back to a relationship even the relationship that you have with yourself. All benefits and all problems are relational. I have recently begun to restore some of the hurts within myself and to adjust my perspective to include more room for self-love so that I can better love those whom I have the privilege of knowing. I hope you too are able to make yourself a priority.

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